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The wrist watch.

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Wild Root, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. I just received this one, a Ball Trainmaster Roman with tritium hour dots and vials in in hour minute, and second hand.

    Woodsrunner79, BobHufford and viclip like this.
  2. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Mike I like the Seiko best. Cool design that not too many people have and that venerable old automatic movement is incredibly efficient and unkillable - not as pretty as a Swiss movement but in some ways better, it will run and take abuse for 25 years without a service.
  3. viclip

    viclip A-List Customer

    I have a soft spot in my heart for Ball watches, as you might gather from my avatar.

    I don't know which Swiss automatic movement was massaged by Ball for inclusion in your wristwatch, but I'm confident that it's an excellent movement. I think that your model has a see-thru sapphire caseback, you might even be able to discern the base manufacturer's markings on the movement.

    Those micro gas tubes are a real wonderment, shining brightly even in complete darkness, requiring no preliminary exposure to a source of light. Apparently the tritium enclosed in those tubes will last for about 25 years, meanwhile those suckers will glow day & night, always there when you need them.

    I see that you are also partial to a stainless steel bracelet. While leather straps are fine & dandy & evoke a classic look, it's an expensive pain to have to replace them every couple of years, at least on a daily wear wristwatch.

    Congrats for having acquired a very nice timepiece which I'm sure you'll enjoy for years to come.
    Woodsrunner79 likes this.
  4. viclip

    viclip A-List Customer

    Yes Seiko produces fine wristwatches, my first good watch was a Seiko "Sportsmatic" from the 1960s given to me by my mother when I was still in high school. I must have worn that thing for some 20 years before having it serviced, the servicing did more harm than good thanks to the bonehead of a watchmaker that worked on it.

    Seiko also made some interesting alarm watches.

    Over the years Seiko has carried on its tradition of producing very good wristwatches. The ultimate models are those outputted under the "Grand Seiko" label. If I didn't already have too many timepieces kicking around, I wouldn't mind picking one of those up.
  5. This is a good article on the challenges the Swiss watchmaking industry is facing.

    The very short version: young people aren't buying expensive Swiss watches as they aren't "into" the hobby of buying expensive mechanical watches having grown up with cheap alternatives and, more recently, cell phones and, now, Apple Watch. Also, there is less luxury spending coming out of China, but the generational issue seems to be the bigger challenge for the industry.

    As someone who has never paid more than about $200+ for a watch - and those few have been vintage timepieces, I have no real connect to the rarefied air of thousands, tens-of-thousand and, even, hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollar timepieces, but I would love to see the Swiss watchmaking industry survive.

    I'm sorry that this is a firewall site, but sometimes if you Google something like "WSJ Swiss Watch Industry" it will get you past the firewall as (I've read) papers like the WSJ use it as an unadvertised way to give out free samples of their articles.

  6. viclip

    viclip A-List Customer

    This is evocative of the "Quartz Crisis" that creamed the global mechanical watch industry in the 1960s & 70s. Fortunately many of the best watch companies managed to survive & ultimately revive, although many hallowed names were forever lost in the maelstrom.

    Looking back now I just laugh at myself for having walked around wearing junky black plastic battery watches with those digital readouts that became illegible in the light, boasting a bunch of nerdy knobs around the case circumference respecting which I couldn't ever remember how to invoke their functionality.

    Hopefully the younger generations after getting a few miles on their odometers, will also come to appreciate fine wristwatches let alone vintage pocket watches, & treat their smart watches & $5 battery watches as & for what they are ~ tools or utensils as distinct from nice things to own & appreciate for their workmanship.

    With global rising stock markets, the "wealth effect" may come back into play & give a booster shot to the so-called "luxury" watchmaking industry.

    For those unable or unwilling to spend much on a mechanical timepiece, recently I've noticed more & more that good quality wind-up as well as automatic wristwatches with Swiss movements are coming onto the market available in some cases below $500; ditto for Seikos with their excellent Japanese movements & indeed many companies are using Miyota movements in their offerings including their better grades. Entry level models with Chinese mechanical movements are even cheaper & somewhat surprisingly can be a good value for the buck however, in most cases these watches are throw-away being practically unserviceable.

    The scene is more & more reminding me of the pre=Quartz Revolution era when mechanical wristwatches were available for every budget. Nowadays anyone who appreciates the attraction of wind-up or automatic watches has numerous price points to consider. Then there's the attraction of vintage timepieces, anyone who's ever handled a well-preserved American pocket watch or fine wristwatch can't help but want one of their own, in my experience.

    Just a few thoughts on the state of the world offered on an unseasonably cold morning.
  7. Bushman

    Bushman Call Me a Cab

    Here's my Timex. I know it's a cheaper brand, but I've always trusted their watches.

  8. The movement is a BALL RR1102, which I do not think is chronograph quality, but I do not need that. I have had tritium watches before and like very much as other luminous material available now does not glow very long after being exposed to light. Your feelings on the bracelet vs leather mirror mine. A nice leather strap can look elegant, but I live in E. Texas, and spend most of my there and in a couple of other Gulf coast states all of which have horrid humidity, so I sweat enough to ruin a nice leather strap in a hurry. The last time I tried wearing a leather strap daily, it barely made it 8 months. I have also discovered the Milanese mesh bracelets which I like, but this Ball bracelet with the rather classic looking dial looks good.
    viclip likes this.
  9. Back in 1970 one of our flight surgeons was making a little extra by bootlegging Seiko watches out of SE Asia. I bought a Seiko Bellmatic in a gold tone off him and wore it daily for about 15 years, until it got rather shabby looking. Just recently I found a pristine unused model on ebay, the only difference being the new one shows day and date vs the old one which only shows date.
    viclip likes this.
  10. I am never succumbed to those things, and a clunky Apple watch, no way. It's always been analog for me, I like my round dial with hands marking hours and minutes.
    viclip likes this.
  11. viclip

    viclip A-List Customer

    Among my father's effects I found a pristine unused Bell-Matic in his watch box, for some reason never worn by him. He likely picked it up in the 1970s. Powered by the Seiko 17j automatic movement, it has a lovely medium blue dial with day/date indications. I consider it to be an ideal daily wear watch which in addition to displaying the day & date, also features that super-handy alarm function.
  12. +1 On that alarm. It's loud enough to be useful, and served me well for all of my active duty AF career, eliminating the need to carry an alarm clock on the occasions I was TDY. The two I now have are 27 jewel movements , both gold with white dials, and gold bracelets.
    viclip likes this.

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